Updated 3.10pm with PN statement

A total 84 of the 200 signatures in a petition to force a vote of confidence in Adrian Delia were invalid, the Nationalist Party insisted on Tuesday, adding that these included three of the five people who presented the petition.

The PN statement followed a statement by Emma Portelli Bonnici, Mark Anthony Sammut, Emvin Bartolo and Martin Musumeci, and Ivan Bartolo, in which they disputed claims by council president Kristy Debono that some of those who had signed the petition were not eligible to do so.

They insisted that there were no invalid signatures among the 200 who signed the petition, spearheaded by Mr Bartolo.

However, they welcomed the go-ahead to hold an extraordinary meeting of the Nationalist Party general council to discuss responsibilities following the heavy electoral defeats.

The electoral results put the very future of the PN in jeopardy, but thanks to the petition, things were moving and the needed changes could take place, they said.


They also disputed the claim that 23 members of the council who signed the petition did not have the right to vote. None of them had ever been told anything about this, he said, and they would be enquiring with their section committees as to how and when they became no longer eligible. 

"Once the meeting of the general council will go ahead anyway, there is no need at this stage to raise the issue as to who compiles the list of council members." 

As for members of the council who, it was claimed, were not up to date in their membership dues, such people had up to the end of the year to pay their membership and there was, therefore, no reason why somebody within the party could arbitrarily decide that they could no longer be members of the council. 

We are disappointed only that a legitimate request made in terms of the party statute ended up being used by senior party officials to try to discredit party members who have given years of service to the party.- Ivan Bartolo

Furthermore, many of these people had already produced receipts to prove that their membership payments were actually up to date.  

"This further confirms how the PN's lists and data are in a disorganised state which gives rise to abuse, with nothing having been done to address the situation in the past weeks despite complaints," the statement  said. 

"We are disappointed only that a legitimate request made in terms of the party statute ended up being used by senior party officials to try to discredit party members who have given years of service to the party."

Mr Bartolo and the other co-signatories said he expected the party executive to meet with urgency to establish the date for the extraordinary council meeting so that a serious discussion could be held and a vote taken as requested in the petition. 

PN statement

In a statement in the afternoon, the PN insisted that 84 of the 200 signatures were invalid.

The statute clearly stated that a meeting of the council could be called through a  written request from not less than 150 members.

The party said that 55 of the signatories last paid their membership in 2017 or 2018. These included three of the five members presenting the petition and insisting that all signatures were valid.

The statute, the PN said, was clear that when one did not remain a member, he automatically his position within the party.

The party also said that another 23 people did not have the right to sign the petition because they were not members of the council. Five signatures were not valid because the people who signed had refused to pay their membership fee and there was a case where the name and surname of a person did not match the ID number given.

Following the necessary verifications, the party said, the council president passed the petition to the executive committee of the party as required by the statute.

While the PN continued to uphold the values of democracy, rule of law, justice and freedom of expression, it looked forward to a debate based on true facts, the party said.


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